Re: "The goal is not to throw"
I am not sure about bizarre or empircal...(I barely know what that means.)
For me Aikido is a co-operative practice between uke and nage. Nothing has to be proved to anyone. The connection is discovered as we train together. We fall when we are thrown. We practice Ki exercises together so we both develop correct feeling.
The goal for me is find the off balance of uke so they can be thrown. I don't force it...I pay close attention to each uke in each moment and the throw presents itself....right along with the Fun and Joy!